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Informal Workshop on Stakeholders’ Information Needs on Chemicals in Articles/Products Geneva, Switzerland 9-12 February, 2009 Organized by UNEP and Sweden and supported by Japan

Related: Presentations from the ICCM2 side event on Chemicals in Articles
Workshop documents:
Final report of the Workshop: Articles Workshop info note

Final list of participants: Articles Workshop info note


The reduced use of hazardous chemicals is one of the key challenges in achieving sustainable development. The health and environmental risks connected to production are frequently the object of regulations and risk management measures, but further steps needs to be taken to achieve improved risk reduction.

Recently, there has been a growing interest and understanding of the spread of and potential exposure to chemicals contained in products, such as personal computers, textiles, and costume jewellery. Not the least has the recall of millions of children toys possibly containing lead attracted worldwide attention due to both the health risk to the end user and the economical risk for the producer.

Information exchange is one key factor to enabling actors to avoid hazardous chemicals and to manage risks to users and the environment. The need for better communication throughout the product chain has been identified and the overall aim of this initiative is to facilitate informed decision making in relation to this issue.

The aim of the workshop is closely linked to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), and in particular to Objective 15 of its Overarching Policy Strategy and to activities 108, 111 and 112 in the SAICM Global Plan of Action. The subject is also closely linked to the Marrakesh Process on sustainable consumption and production. It is intended to convey the outcome of the workshop to the 2nd session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) for consideration in its discussions on emerging issues.

Due to financial and space limitations there will be limited places available and SAICM Regional Focal Points will be coordinating representation from countries in their respective regions. Representatives from NGOs and industry will also be invited. Due to the financial constraints the meeting is planned to take place in English only in order to allow the greatest number of participants possible.

The Articles Workshop will be preceded by the:

Following the Articles Workshop:

Documents will be made available on this page as they become available, as well as links to the other events' web pages.

Documents related to the Informal Workshop on Chemicals in Articles/Products:

Questions for the Group break-out sessions: Articles Workshop info note

Draft Programme: Preliminary programme

Workshop Information Note: Articles Workshop info note

Venue, hotel and ground transport information:
Hotels with a negotiated reduced rate for Workshop participants: Articles Workshop info note
Geneva tourist office - hotels guide
Geneva public transport system web site
Venue information: CICG - Centre International de Conferences Geneve, plenary meets in Rooms 5 and 6

Information letter to SAICM National Focal Points: Focal Point Info letter

Registration Form: Registration Form

List of SAICM Regional Focal Points

Presentations and abstracts:

Monday 9 February, 2009

Session 1: Setting the scene

Toxic Substances in Articles: The Need for Information (Link to the full report) - Ms. Rachel Massey, Toxics Use Reduction Institute, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Synergies between the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Marrakech process (Link to full presentation) - Ms. Adriana Zacarias, Programme Officer, Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, UNEP

SAICM and emerging policy issues (Link to full presentation) - Ms. Lesley Onyon, Programme Officer, SAICM Secretariat

Information from the WHO Chemical Incident Alert and Response System (Link to full presentation) - Mr. Kersten Gutschmidt, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Stakeholders’ Information Needs on Chemicals in Articles/Products - IFCS Contribution and Supporting Work (Link to full presentation) - Dr Judy A. Stober, Executive Secretary, IFCS

Session 2: The need for better information in the supply chain

Low Public Awareness and Data Gaps as Drivers for the improvement of Environmentally Sound Management of Heavy Metals in Articles/Products in Developing Countries (Link to full presentation) - Prof Oladele Osibanjo, Federal Ministry of Environment, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

How much should products details be gathered and disclosed for Chemical Safety Management? (Link to full presentation) - Mr. Varapan Danutra, Head of Chemical Information Management Unit, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Obstacles in risk management of PFOS (Link to full presentation) - Ms. Yao Wei, Pollution Prevention and Control, China

Session 3: Challenges in the supply chain

Hazardous Chemicals in Products and Articles: Challenges in developing countries (Link to full presentation) - Mr. Ravi Agarwal, Toxics Link, India  

Surveys of hazardous chemicals and their life-cycle stages (Link to full presentation) - Dr. Hidetaka Takigami, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

Enhanced information sharing on hazardous substances in electronics: Connecting the production and end-of-life stages (Link to full presentation) - Dr. Magnus Bengtsson, Institute for Global Environmental Studies, Japan

The International Council of Chemical Associations’ (ICCA) Contribution to SAICM: The Global Product Strategy (GPS) (Link to full presentation) - Dr. Melanie Bausen, ICCA

Strategies for Addressing Chemicals in Articles/Products (Link to full presentation) - Mr. Mark Rossi, Research Director, Clean Production Action, Massachusetts, USA

Tuesday 10 February, 2009

Session 4: Challenges in the supply chain (cont.)

Chemicals in Articles:  A Global Auto Manufacturer's Perspective (Link to full presentation) - Dr. Patricia Beattie, General Motors Corp and Dr. Thomas G. Osimitz, Science Strategies, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

IKEAs approach to chemical management - a brief introduction (Link to full presentation) - Ms Katarina Maaskant, Manager, IKEA EU Affairs, IKEA, Belgium

The Sustainability Approach and Management of Substances in Products (Link to full presentation) - Mr. Daniel Paska, Environmental Expert, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Sweden

Experience of downstream users and challenges companies face regarding needs of information (Link to full presentation) - Mr. Nardono Nimpuno, Senior Policy Advisor, ChemSec

Session 5: Information sharing and existing tools

Information requirements on chemicals in articles in the new EU chemicals regulation (REACH) (Link to full presentation) - Ms. Eva Sandberg, The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA

Overview of existing information tools and thoughts on the way forward (Full presentation) - Ms. Rachel Massey, University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA

ICCM2 side event on Chemicals in Articles - below are links to the presentations, made at the side event on 12 May, 2009, and building on the recommentdations and work of the February Workshop:

Petra Ekblom - Sweden

Dr. Alo - Nigeria

Eisaku Toda - Japan

Daniel Paska - Sony Ericsson

Nardono Nimpuno - ChemSec